For the past several years, critics have been describing the present era as both “the end of television” and one of “peak TV,” referring to the unprecedented quality and volume and the waning of old technologies, formats, and habits. Television’s projections and reflections have significantly contributed to who we are individually and culturally. From Rabbit Ears to the Rabbit Hole: A Life with Television reveals the reflections of a TV scholar and fan analyzing how her life as a consumer of television has intersected with the cultural and technological evolution of the medium itself. In a narrative bridging television studies, memoir, and comic, literary nonfiction, Kathleen Collins takes readers alongside her from the 1960s through to the present, reminiscing and commiserating about some of what has transpired over the last five decades in the US, in media culture, and in what constitutes a shared cultural history.
In a personal, critical, and entertaining meditation on her relationship with TV—as avid consumer and critic—she considers the concept and institution of TV as well as reminiscing about beloved, derided, or completely forgotten content. She describes the shifting role of TV in her life, in a progression that is far from unique, but rather representative of a largely collective experience. It affords a parallel coming of age, that of the author and her coprotagonist, television. By turns playful and serious, wry and poignant, it is a testament to the profound and positive effect TV can have on a life and, by extrapolation, on the culture.